John FILLWALK, IDIA Lab: Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts. Ball State University, Muncie, USA
Bernard FRISCHER, Department of Informatics, Indiana University, USA
Keywords: virtual reality, augmented reality, celestial alignment, ancient Rome
Pontifical Academy of Archeology
With generous support from the National Science Foundation (grant # IIS-1014956), we have recently been developing a digital simulation of the northern Campus Martius in the period 9 BCE to 40 CE.  Our motivation is to create a tool that makes it possible instantly to see the correct positions of the sun and its shadow at any time of day in this period of time so that the various controversies associated with the work of Edmund Buchner on the so-called “Horologium Augusti” can be approached in a new way. Of course, precision and valid results always depend on the reliability of the data represented in a simulation. For the all-important apparent size and position of the sun in the sky dome of the simulation, we have relied on NASA’s Horizons System. Among other things, this database takes into account the changes in the sun’s apparent course through the sky that arise from the earth’s wobble as it rotates, providing correct azimuthal information for any point on earth in any historical period, including the Augustan age.
IDIA Lab virtual celestial simulator and 3D interpretation of the Meridian of August in ancient Rome. Project commissioned by the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory at Indiana University, directed by Bernard Frischer.
Findings presented at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Archeology in Rome.
A Digital Simulation of the Northern Campus Martius in the Age of Augustus. Preliminary Results of New Studies of the Relationship of the Obelisk, Meridian, and Ara Pacis of Augustus by Bernard Frischer, Department of Informatics, Indiana University and John Fillwalk, Director, Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, Ball State University